What WHAM does
The west coast of Scotland enjoys the benefit of many sheltered natural harbours that provide a haven of refuge for yachts, other small craft and fishing vessels. These can also be locations for permanent moorings and for aquaculture.
West Highland Anchorages and Moorings Association (WHAM) works to ensure that these anchorages continue to provide safe access for boat users despite the pressure on space from the demand for moorings and aquaculture developments. It comprises over 60 corporate members including moorings associations, sailing clubs, fishermen, marinas and boatyards. Thus it represents the interests of several thousand seafarers on matters affecting anchorages, moorings and related maritime issues in several ways.
- Safety is the most important. The aim is to ensure that small craft can rely upon unrestricted access to secure anchorages at all times but particularly in bad weather.
- Liaison with Royal Yachting Association (Scotland), Crown Estate Scotland and the Scottish Government (Marine Scotland) during consideration of applications for seabed areas for fish-farms, moorings, marine energy installations etc. ensures that most anchorages remain unobstructed.
- Through close contact with Marine Scotland and the Crown Estate, WHAM seeks to ensure that seabed rents for moorings are fair and reasonable.
- Preventing anchorages from being obstructed by derelict fish farms and other hazards.
- Lobbying for good marine practice on issues such as the lighting and marking of fish farms; the removal of obstructions from anchorages and the planning of visitors' moorings, marinas and yacht harbours so that available space is used effectively.
- Marine conservation is wholeheartedly supported by WHAM which liaises with Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Government to ensure that the shelter of traditional anchorages will continue to be available.
Since its inception in 1985, WHAM has developed an extensive network of contacts and advisers covering a wide breadth of interests which constitute a valuable source of expertise, knowledge and information.
In summary, WHAM’s objectives are:
- To maintain safe access to the anchorages and mooring areas of western Scotland.
- To help to ensure protection of the marine environment.
- To promote responsible and considerate use of our seas.
- To further the aims of recreational sailors around western Scotland.
- To respond to planning applications, marine energy consultations and all other developments affecting the use of the seas.